Archive from August, 2014
19 Aug
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UFT v. NYPD, by Mona Salama

The United Federation of Teachers, lead by Michael Mulgrew, has decided to go against the NYPD by sponsoring and joining forces with Al Sharpton’s anti-police rally to be scheduled for this Saturday August 23 in Staten Island. And UFT members are voicing their outrage on social media. 

The UFT represents over 200,000 members of the City’s public school teachers are now one of the four sponsors of this planned protest, which includes NAACP and SEIU.

This prompt action to sponsor this protest shows how unions are siding with the wrong issues and causes. It just goes to show you that union leaders don’t respect or care about what their members think.  Mulgrew didn’t even consult with UFT members or schedule a vote to take the pulse of membership before signing on board with Sharpton’s agenda, which is attacking other unionized public employees. Many teachers have taken to social media to rail against the UFT leadership for joining this protest. On the Facebook UFT page, dozens, if not hundreds, of angry comments from teachers indicates how furious some are with their Union for wasting their dues and aligning with a protest that does not involve education or students.

UFT members are apparently angry with their President for getting their Union involved in a no-win situation.  Many support the NYPD and have friends and family on the job. Others don’t want to turn on another union. Still others feel that association with Rev. Al and this protest is distasteful and that marching on the Verrazano Bridge will disrupt commuters traveling to and from Staten Island while losing transportation funds.

This means war

This Means War (Photo H/T – NY Post)

Whom union members decide to line up with is their business. However, this rally is blaming unionized police officers as a whole for the death of Eric Garner, even though the investigation into the matter is still ongoing.

Pat Lynch, president of the PBA, which has 35,000 members, stated Mulgrew and the UFT has declared a “war on members of another municipal union”.  Continuing on, Lynch said, “How would [Mulgrew] like it if police officers lined up with the activists who oppose his efforts to shield bad teachers and undermine effective charter schools.”

Lynch is totally right to be angry with the UFT for joining forces with the likes of Rev. Al Sharpton. City workers should be supporting each other. They should not support an event created by a buffoon and a race-baiter that causes trouble with the NYPD. He’s also right that all this nonsense comes at the expense of children, who will see the message that it’s OK to disrespect authority.  I’m sure moms and dads everywhere are thrilled with that.

Mulgrew should be worrying more about high dropout rates, overcrowding schools, gangs and bad teachers failing our students in education. Instead, choosing to partake in an event without letting union member decides if this was a good call to join that diminishes his union in the eyes of many. If Mulgrew wanted to join the rally individually, go right ahead! It’s a free country, do whatever you want. But don’t involve your union members, many of whom respect the NYPD, who are also friends and family members. Pitting union against union is distasteful and shows lack of leadership. It is a disgrace to support this rally that has nothing to do with education or teachers.

If Mulgrew doesn’t respect his members and withdraw its sponsorship and apologize to the NYPD, then union members should oust him. To support and back Rev. Al Sharpton, an opportunist who is only out for himself, is plain stupid. Would Rev. Al ever support a UFT rally or called for better education for minorities? Doubt it, unless there’s something in it for Rev. Al.

Another sign of progressivism run amok in NYC.  Anyone other than me miss Rudy Giuliani yet?

14 Aug
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Back on June 1 we posted our first ever book review, Economics in One Lesson, promising that book reviews would be fairly regular. It only took two and a half months to get to our second review, and since The Conscience of a Conservative is only 130 or so pages, we’re averaging about a 1.4 pages per day. A little shameful, but take our word that you can make it through The Conscience of a Conservative in one sitting, barely enough time drain a margarita.

If for no other reason, read The Conscience of a Conservative because it is the founding document of modern Republicanism. When Barry Goldwater published the book in 1960, the Republican Party had drifted into little more than being Democratic Party-lite. Goldwater, who’d be the Republican Party’s candidate against LBJ in 1964, provided dissent to the party line from the conservative Right, in much the same way as the liberal Left would spend the 1960s transforming the Democratic Party. Goldwater’s 1964 campaign was the birth of modern conservatism, and when Reagan won in 1980, George Will remarked that it took 16 years to count the votes, and Goldwater won.

Goldwater’s first task in The Conscience of a Conservative was to establish a thinking man’s conservatism, challenging, in George Will’s words, the “perception that conservatism was an intellectually sterile and morally crass persuasion.”

The first lines of his first chapter read, “I have been much concerned that so many people today with Conservative instincts feel compelled to apologize for them.” Goldwater defined “conservatism” as “the art of achieving the maximum amount of freedom for individuals that is consistent with the maintenance of social order.” Acting in opposition to conservatism was the government’s tendency to “thwart man’s liberties.” Fortunately, the Founders had established sacrosanct protections, “a system of restraints on the natural tendency of government to expand in the direction of absolutism,” in the form of the Constitution.

Goldwater’s concern, his “conscience” was that the restraints on government encroachment into individual liberties had fallen by the wayside, and he pointed to a series of problems, some more pressing in his day than now, like the Soviet menace. Some points are a trifle uncomfortable. Goldwater, writing only a few years after Brown v. Board of Education struggles with the Court’s substitution of its own ideas from those who wrote the Constitution, and contends that each state should be free to have educate its citizens in its own way. His attack on Brown would be unwise today, but his defense of state’s rights – “the chief bulwark against encroachment by Big Government” in Goldwater’s words – rings true today.

In The Conscience of a Conservative, Goldwater presents us with a speech from a hypothetical political candidate, and it makes for a compelling note on which to close.

I have little interest in streamlining government or making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution or that have failed in their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is needed before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I am attacked for neglecting my constituent’s interests, I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty, and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.